Sailor Profile: Earle Alexander

Sailor Profile: Earle Alexander

Earle Alexander Profile.jpg

NAME: Earle Alexander

AGE: 74

HOMETOWN: Brisbane, Australia.

OCCUPATION/EMPLOYER: Retired. I worked for the last 20 years as a consultant mining engineer. For 30 years before that, I worked as engineer and manager in underground metal mines for mining companies and government mine safety inspectors.

CURRENT SAILING PARTNER: My current crew is Matthew Bowden. In 1987, 15-year-old Matthew and his mate Shane Illidge were hanging around the sailing club looking at boats. He came for a ride in my old 505 and loved it so much they bought an old Parker 505. Most of my 505 sailing has been with my long-term great mate Ian Gregg.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ATTENDED: First one was 1988 in Sydney and I finished second-to-last. I then did Quiberon in 1999. I have only missed two world championships since then.

TOP FINISHES AT WORLDS: I finished 41st out of 130 boats in Weymouth with the worst race being a 44th. We like the strong wind and rough stuff.

OTHER NOTABLE CAREER RESULTS: I placed sixth at the 2008 Australian National Championship at Hamilton Island. Ian Gregg and I led the strong wind race by over a minute and finished second in the next race just to prove it.

FAVORITE SAILING MOMENT: Every day on the water is my favorite sailing moment.


Q: Tell us how you originally got into the 505 class and why you have stayed with it for so long?

A: I sailed a family dinghy called a Corsair with my two boys. When they reached 15 years of age they abandoned me for 420s. In 1986, I purchased an old 505 and haven’t wanted to sail anything else ever since. The 505 community around the world have become my close friends. Their backpacking children stay at my family’s homes around Australia. I travel the world not as a tourist but as a 505 friend visiting and staying with the 505 community.

Q: Why did you decide to sail the 505 instead of a different class? What attracts you to the 505?

A: Some of the Australian 505 champions, Dean Blatchford, Tom Woods, Dave Porter, Peter Hewson and others came to my sailing club for a weekend. After that I had to have one. Once you have sailed a 505 in both light and heavy wind you realize that the 505 can be sailed completely under control and fast in all conditions. Just look under the bow as you plane down a big wave at close to 20 knots and you will know what I mean. There are no secrets in the 505 community. The top competitive sailors are willing to share and help you set up your boat. Newcomers and novices are made to feel welcome.

Q: Your name shows up in results all over the world – places such as Italy, Germany and Scandinavia. How have you been able to do so many international events in such far-flung locales?

A: It is only since I started to work in my own consulting company in 1998 that I have been able to have the time and money to travel the 505 world. I have decided to “SKI” (spend the kids inheritance) while my fitness lasts. I don’t intend to fall off my perch with much money in the bank.

Q: Do you own multiple 505s that you keep on the various continents of the world?

A: That’s a bit embarrassing. I have four 505s in Australia and only one in Germany. In Australia, as I have upgraded, I decided not to sell the older boats. They are borrowed by my friends. Matthew’s two girls (who are 16 and 18 years old) and Ian’s son Chris (12) are now using the boats and hope to sail at the Fremantle worlds early 2019. Thanks to my good friend Holger Jess in Germany I keep my good “Holger” boat 9028 with him in Kiel, just like some other Australians and a few Americans.

Q: How many different people have you sailed with over the years and can you tell us a little something about those you spent the most time with?

A: Finding and keeping good crews is just like the rest of your life journey. It is not just sailing, but enjoying life with tolerance and understanding. I can honestly say that I have never had a

“cross” word on my 505. It is not possible to just have one person as crew when traveling the 505 circuit. My current crew – Matthew Bowden and his wife Peta and their beautiful daughters Maggie and Christie – are special friends. Ian Gregg along with wife Helen and son Chris are also special friends. Until a few years ago, Pip Pearson and I sailed many overseas regattas together. Pip now drives the gate start boat at the big regattas. Pip and I have an agreement to attend all 505 regattas unless there is a good excuse. Other special crews in the past few years are: Arne Lanatowitz, now living in Oslo, Norway. I visit Arne and Kicki in Oslo each year. John McLean (Crazy) who spends at least half his time out of Australia in Europe travelling with wife Lyn in their mobile home. We have more fun than most people and do quite well. Paul Ridgway and I sail together sometimes, such last year in Lake Garda and Kiel. Paul and his wife Bronwyn were Tasar world champions.

Q: Is age a challenge or problem for a 505 sailor? It is a demanding boat that one would think might cause issues for an older competitor

A: I have been lucky with my health and fitness. I eat well, drink good red wine and have always slept well. Having good boat handling skills is critical and makes it easy to sail a 505 provided you have a fit and skillful crew. Learn to sail smart and easy and let the crew do most of the leaning to keep the boat upright.

Q: How come everyone in the class likes you so much? You are like the Pied Piper of the 505 class. Ask 10 class veterans who they would most enjoy having a beer with and almost all would answer Earle Alexander.

A: Easy question. I like the people in the 505 community. I like having a beer or wine with them as well.

Q: Have you ever actually protested anyone?

A: Only once to get redress at the Adelaide worlds. Unfortunately it backfired and the protest committee disqualified both of us. That is the first and last time.

Q: What have you learned recently while racing the 505?

A: Get the boat set up so everything works easily. Set up the measurements and calibrations the same as the top sailors. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

Q: Are you looking forward to coming to Annapolis for the 2017 Worlds? What do you hope to do during your spare time while here? Have you ever been to the East Coast of the United States for a regatta before?

A: I can’t wait to sail the Annapolis worlds. I am looking forward to taking in the Chesapeake Bay atmosphere and blue crabs and sea food that I have heard so much about. Ali Meller and I sailed the North Americans in Rye, New York in 2011 in Henry Amthor’s second boat and won the first master skipper trophy. I proudly hang the plaque and photo on the wall at home.


Ronstan announced as official hardware supplier for 2017 SAP 5O5 Worlds FSE Robline will serve as official cordage provider for September regatta

Ronstan has always been associated with high performance. The International 5O5 has long set the standard for high-performance dinghy racing.

Ronstan naturally gravitated to the 5O5 class and vice versa with a mutually beneficial relationship evolving over the years.

Organizers are pleased to announce that Ronstan will serve as official sailing hardware supplier for the 2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship, being held Sept. 20-29 off Annapolis. Ronstan is the United States distributor of FSE Robline, which has agreed to become official cordage provider for the regatta.

Ronstan and FSE Robline will be on-site throughout the 2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship, with goods on display, discounts on select products and items to give away.

“We are very happy to welcome Ronstan and FSE Robline as official suppliers of hardware and cordage to the SAP 5O5 World Championship in Annapolis. 5O5 sailors and Ronstan have a shared passion for high performance sailing and for improving the efficiency of sailing equipment,” regatta chairman Jesse Falsone said. “Just like 5O5 sailors, Ronstan sweats the details in everything they make because they know attention to detail is what wins championships.”

Ronstan products have become the sailing equipment of choice for high-performance racing dinghy classes such as the International 5O5, International Moth and others as well as high- profile offshore racing programs.

“Ronstan has been a big supporter of high performance sailing in general and the 5O5 class in particular for years,” said Territory Manager Ben Moon, who services the southern United States, Mid-Atlantic Region, Caribbean and South America. “I’ve personally been involved with 5O5 class and have gotten to know the class and its players quite well. We are proud to be aligned woith a serious racing class such as the 5O5. Ronstan is committed to making hardware that gives competing sailors the best experience.”

Ronstan is a sponsor of Mike Martin and Adam Lowery, the reigning International 5O5 class world champions. Martin and Lowery are among many top teams competing in the 2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship, which will be held on the Chesapeake Bay. At press time, the prestigious regatta had attracted 88 entries representing 12 different countries.

“It’s no surprise that the current World Champions Mike Martin and Adam Lowery have a boat completely kitted with Ronstan and FSE,” Falsone said. “Ronstan is an important supplier because the company recognizes the status of the 5O5 as the best double-handed high- performance dinghy in the world and the cash influence 5O5 sailors have had on molding the marine hardware marketplace.”

Based in Melbourne, Australia, Ronstan is a world-leading manufacturer of innovative  sailboat hardware, rigging components, sailing wear and accessories. Ronstan offers a full range of yacht and dinghy products, including blocks, sheaves, travellers, furlers, rope cleats, stainless steel fittings, winches and more.

Ronstan is proud to be the U.S. supplier of FSE Robline, an Austrian-based company with more than 200 years of experience as a manufacturer of ropes. FSE Robline’s cordage sets the standard for performance on the water for both racing and cruising sailors.

Ronstan and FSE Robline products will also be available locally during the regatta from Annapolis Performance Sailing, which is located within walking distance of the 2017 SAP 505 World Championship venue.

Information on Ronstan: Information on FSE Robline:

Sailor Profile: Tyler Moore

Sailor Profile: Tyler Moore

NAME: Tyler Moore

HOMETOWN: Hampton, Virginia

OCCUPATION:  Chesapeake Bay Pilot. Works as a Docking Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia.



TOP FINISHES AT WORLDS: Finished fourth twice (2006, Hayland Island, UK; 2016, Weymouth, UK) and fifth once (1995, Mounts Bay, UK).

NOTABLE CAREER RESULTS: Have won North Americans with four different crew

FAVORITE 505 SAILING MOMENT: Hard to say. One of the best was the second-to-last race at the 2013 North Americans in San Francisco when we secured victory. 


Q: You have sailed with some outstanding crew over the years, including former College Sailor of the Year Ryan Cox (Naval Academy) and current professional sailor Geoff Ewenson (University of Rhode Island). What have you learned from your crew that has helped to improve your helming abilities?

A: Everyone brings something different to the table. I've been fortunate to sail with some exceptional sailors. Ryan really improved my downwind sailing. Peter Alarie and Jeff Nelson taught me how to make the 505 go fast in the breeze. Jesse Falsone has an incredible talent for the details, which when you look inside a 505 you can see is a considerable task. The logistics of getting to Worlds and being race ready is paramount. What is that they say: 90 percent of life is showing up?  Geoff has an eye for big fleet management which at many worlds is a nightmare. Drew Buttner continues that role of placing the boat in the right spot. Rob knows how to make the boat go really fast. He is probably the best downwind sailor in the 5O5 Class. 
Q: How do you adapt to different crews? Or do they need to adapt to you and your style?

A: It's a merge really. We must play to our strengths. None of the people I race 505s with live close by so we can’t get the time on the water to do a complete makeover. 

Q: You are a former College Sailor of the Year yourself. Did you consider an Olympic campaign? I understand you jumped right into the 505 in 1996. What drew you to this particular class?

A: I sailed the 1991 North Americans and knew I liked the boat. So I sold my J/22 and bought a 505 in 1994. It became the heavy air training platform for the 470 I picked up in 1995, and used when Ryan and I took a shot at Olympic Trials in Savannah the next year. Afterwards, I started sailing 505s with Scott Ikle and we picked up a 49er but after a year, I realized that to get better at this new boat was going to take a lot of time and money. 
Q: You have finished Top 10 at 505 Worlds many times. In those instances when you were close, but fell short what do you feel was missing/lacking? What does your team need to do in order to get over the hump?

A: My problem is that everyone else keeps getting better! I need to sail more. Jesse and I were close in 2006, but ripped our kite in half in Race 2, which in the end limited our risk-taking abilities. Last year, Drew put us in the best spots of anybody but I didn't have the wheels to take those positions and make them into regatta winners. As it turned out in the end, that role was reserved for Mike Martin and Adam Lowry. 
Q: After so many Top 10 results without a world championship, what motivates you to keep coming back?

A: Ouch!
Q: You are currently the United States dealer for Rondar. Why take on that role? I am guessing you wanted to help promote the class by helping find affordable boats. Have you learned more about the boat from working with the dealer?

A: I think everyone should have a 505. I’ve never seen a soul unhappy after a day spent on the water in 12-plus knots of breeze. My goal was to get more boats over here. It’s been a painstaking process. I remain hopeful that I’ll reach a system that works for everyone and where I stop losing money! 

Q: I understand you have three young children. Has that hampered your ability to sail as often as you like and train as much as you need?

A: An understanding wife helps a lot. Families take up a lot of time, but that is what it’s all about. I want them to enjoy sailing as much as Jane and I do. They keep me in check and remind me that 505 racing is something we all do for fun. To sail a Worlds with my kids on the water racing another boat would be special. In the meantime, I’m secretly conceiving plans to organize 505 regattas and training events that happen to be at Opti regattas. Don't tell anyone.

In reality, the biggest obstacle to 505 sailing is my job which has a very inflexible schedule. I get one to two weekends off a month, which puts weekends in high demand. 

Q: You have been given the title of “local favorite” as many of the other Chesapeake Bay teams believe you are most capable of winning the championship among them. How do you feel about that mantle? Does it apply added pressure?

A: I don't see it that way. Annapolis is not like many other places where you can expect certain conditions and prepare your program around it. After the pounding Howard and Andy gave the fleet at the North Americans last month, I don’t think we’re close to making a show of it. Chris Behm and Jesse were second, which places them as the top local team. To become a favorite, you have to demonstrate that you can win. Rob and I haven’t done that yet. 

Japanese Entry Coming to Annapolis for 2017 SAP 505 World Championship Shiro Noguchi placed 10th at 1985 Worlds, won a race at 1981 Worlds

Japanese Entry Coming to Annapolis for 2017 SAP 505 World Championship Shiro Noguchi placed 10th at 1985 Worlds, won a race at 1981 Worlds

Shiro Noguchi is a self-made 505 sailor, literally.

Noguchi got into the International 505 class way back in 1968 when he built a boat with a friend. The Japanese sailor attended his first overseas regatta a year later, racing in the 505 Far East Championship held in Hong Kong.

Noguchi participated in the 1985 505 World Championship that took place in Enoshima, Japan. Business commitments prevented the class veteran from attending worlds for the next three decades.  

That lengthy layoff will come to an end this September when Noguchi competes in the 2017 SAP 505 World Championships, being held Sept. 20-29 off Annapolis. “Always, I was thinking to sail the 505 again when I had more time,” Noguchi said. “Three years ago, I retired and met a skipper and got back into the class.”

Noguchi, who resides in the coastal prefecture of Kanagawa, will be sailing with Takao Fijita. This year’s championship has attracted 22 foreign entries from seven different countries, but the one from Japan stands out.

It has been a long time since a Japanese team competed in 505 Worlds and it is a real coup for Annapolis that Noguchi and Fijita are traveling nearly 7,000 miles to do so.

“I don’t believe we’ve had a Japanese entry at worlds for 30 years. It’s important for the class because Japan has a rich dinghy sailing history and bringing them back into the fold could be a huge boost to the 505 Class,” said Jesse Falsone, chairman of the 2017 SAP 505 World Championship.

“Like most older dinghy classes, the 5O5 struggles to remain relevant in the sport where designs are rapidly evolving and participation remains either stagnant or declining. The 5O5 still offers the very best one design dinghy racing and a wonderful sailing experience. My feeling is that if this one team has a very positive experience at our worlds they might bring that enthusiasm back to Japan with them and spark a re-birth of the class there.”

Noguchi, 69, got into competitive sailboat racing aboard an OK Dinghy he built himself and has also campaigned a Laser, Flying Dutchman, Soling and Tornado. The Fujisawa, Kanagawa native fell in love with the 505 from the outset and has competed in a total of five world championships – Hong Kong in 1973, New South Wales, Australia in 1976, San Francisco in 1981 and Adelaide, Australia in 1983 in addition to the aforementioned 1985 event in his home country.

“I learned of the 505 from a book describing sailing techniques that was written by Marcel Buffet. I was very fascinated by the hull shape,” Noguchi said. “Also, while reading a book written by the great Paul Elvstrom, he said the 505 was the best two-man dinghy.”

Noguchi and helmsman Miyuki Kai were one of two Japanese teams at the 1981 Worlds hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club and pulled off quite a feat by winning Race 5. There were a whopping 18 entries from Japan at the 1985 Worlds in Enoshima, where Noguchi and skipper Aiko Saito placed 10th overall.

“We are very much looking forward to coming to Annapolis and competing against the very best 505 sailors in the world. I think this championship will be my last one so I am sure it will be a memorable experience,” Noguchi said. “I have heard from friends that Annapolis is a beautiful port with many sights such as the Naval Academy. Most important, the weather is similar to Japan with not so strong wind every day. We are a very light team (150 kilograms, 330 pounds) and heavy air is not our specialty.”

Noguchi has been involved with boat design and construction while employed with GH Craft, an Art and Science Composite Engineering and Manufacturing firm. He helped build JPN52, the International America’s Cup Class yacht the Nippon Challenge syndicate used to challenge for the Auld Mug in 2000.

Takao Fijita has been competing in the 505 class since 1980 and also attended the 1985 Worlds in Enoshima along with the 1987 Pacific Championship in Singapore. The 63-year-old switched to the Fireball class and attended multiple world championships before taking up keelboat racing for many years.

"It has been six years since I have sailed the 505 and I amexcited to participate in the Annapolis Worlds with such a legendary sailor as Shiro,” Fijita said.

Members of the local organizing committee have helped the Japanese team make arrangements to compete at the 2017 SAP 505 World Championship. Mike Renda, who is working with all foreign entries on travel and logistics, arranged for Yoguchi and Fijita to charter a boat from Massachusetts sailor Tom Hurwitch. Additionally, a host family has stepped up to provide free housing for the visitors from the Far East.

There are also entries from Australia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and Poland already entered in the 2017 SAP 505 World Championship, being co-hosted by Eastport Yacht Club and Severn Sailing Association.

Falsone said time is running short for foreign teams to make arrangements to attend the Annapolis Worlds, but stressed the local organizing committee will do whatever possible to support those that still would like to compete. Falsone said there is still space in a few containers that are already scheduled for delivery. Organizers are offering generous subsidies for every foreign boat traveling in a container, free housing, arrangement of charter or loaner boats and assistance with finding crew.



85 Days Until the Start of the 2017 SAP 5O5 World Championships: Late Fees Kick in July 22nd!

We are now only 85 days until the action begins in Annapolis for the 2017 SAP International 5O5 World Championships  Be sure to register for the event today as late fees start on July 22nd.  Whats new with world's planning in Annapolis? Read on!

SAP Sailor's Lounge
As has been the case in many previous worlds managed in partnership with SAP, SAP will be building a beautiful Sailor's Lounge on the property of Eastport Yacht Club.  The Sailor's Lounge will feature cutting-edge technology to show the power of SAP Analytics, host de-brief sessions, and serves as a meeting point for conversation and relaxation. 

Social Events
The SAP 5O5 Worlds will offer not just exciting action on the water, but great fun on shore.  Our opening ceremony will feature the color guard from the US Naval Academy and the Brass from the Annapolis Symphony.  The Mid-way party will feature great food, drink, live band, and partying until the late hour. The Closing Ceremony will take place at the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel in the heart of the City.  Pasta and beer will be available every day after racing.

The Annapolis Waterfront hotel and the Marriott hotels still have significant availability.  The Horn Point Bed & Breakfast 2 blocks from the club is sold out.   Be sure to visit the Accommodations page on our web site to take advantage of the negotiated housing deals, we have made.  Most hotel blocks expire expire in early or mid August.  You can also request free housing with local families at registration.  Free housing will only be considered for competitors who have registered AND paid.

Selden Masts is "Offical Spar Provider" to the 2017 SAP 5O5 World Championships
Seldén Mast Inc. (USA) as the official spar supplier for event. Seldén Mast Inc. was set up in 1998 in Charleston, South Carolina and produces rig systems for dinghies, keelboats and yachts and distributes the entire product range throughout North and South America. Seldén is a long- time manufacturer of 5O5 spars, having previously manufactured under the Proctor name.  Seldén’s “Alto” aluminum section has become particularly popular among 5O5 sailors for its performance and production quality. Carbon 5O5 booms, spinnaker poles, and a full range of rigging services are also available through Seldén Mast Inc.



2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship Sailor Profile: Andy Smith

2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship Sailor Profile: Andy Smith

NAME: Andy Smith
AGE: 49
HOMETOWN: Nottingham, Great Britain

OCCUPATION/EMPLOYER: Operations Shift Manager in a 2000MW Coal Fired Power Station. German energy company UniPer (formerly E.ON).

CURRENT SAILING PARTNER: I’ve been sailing with Tim Needham since the end of 2009 when we bought our first 505. Prior to sailing together we competed against each other in different Fireball teams. Tim is a great crew and we remain close friends on and off the water.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ATTENDED: Since 2010 in Denmark all the worlds except Hamilton and Port Elisabeth. I also competed at Hayling Island in 2006 with Norman Byrd alongside Fireball sailing that year.

TOP FINISHES AT WORLDS: Fourth in 2014 at Kiel and seventh in 2106 at Weymouth.

NOTABLE CAREER RESULTS: Winning Kieler Woche in 2016 and also UK Nationals/Pre-worlds in 2016. We were also the 2013 UK National Champions and the 2014 French National Champions.
Placed second at 2014 Pre-worlds in Kiel.

FAVORITE 505 SAILING MOMENT: Lots! Majority of 2016! Big breeze and clear blue skies in Hyeres, Just after winning Kiel week and, being told by Wolfgang Hunger’s shy young son that I was the best sailor! Flattered, I smiled and said “no chance” and suggested that he should tell his Dad instead!
  The Kiel worlds and pre-worlds I think tops it. Mixing it with Mike Holt for the first time and realising that all our hard work had paid off going quickly and having the consistency to finish top eight in every race. Having now sailed in the class for seven seasons I can actually confirm that it is the best dinghy I have ever set foot in and the people that sail them and associate with them from all over the world are the nicest you will ever meet.

Q: I know you come from other one-design dinghy classes. What attracted you to the 505?
A: I’d always thought that 505s looked like the ultimate boat since being in my teens and seeing magazine photo’s and occasionally being able to see one sailing. It was a huge class in the UK in those days.
  My father worked with John Kobilanski, who was a pretty good 505 sailor. One winter we stored his boat in our garage. I spent many hours looking at it! I always dreamt that one day I would sail one!
  At the age of 15 I was lucky enough to have a sail in a pretty good 505 at school, but no racing. In my 20s I started sailing Fireballs and after a number of years getting to grips with trapeze boats. The 505 always seemed like a natural progression. In 2006 I was lucky enough to get the chance to sail the 505 worlds in Hayling.
  That year gave me a real insight and after a year or so hatching a plan with Tim (Needham), my garage was big enough and so we bought a boat at the end of 2009.

Q: You enjoyed considerable success in the Fireball, Mirror and other classes. Can you provide a quick rundown on your accomplishments in other classes?
A: I started my sailing career in Mirror’s, but I didn’t enjoy much success in the class until I returned to sailing them in my late 30’s with my son Tom, when he was around eight. It was a perfect window for both of us when he was old enough and the Worlds were in the UK 2009. We managed to win! My proudest moment in sailing!
  Prior to that I sailed Fireball’s for many years and the most successful years were winning the Europeans in 2003, the 2004 Worlds in Adelaide and runner up in 2005 in the UK. We also won the Europeans in Perros Guirec, France in 2006.
  Aside of that I have sailed other ‘national’ classes winning the Miracle Nationals in 1995 and a number of Open Meetings and Inland Championships in all the above and also the Scorpion dinghy.
Q: How does racing a Fireball or Mirror translate to the 505?
A: There are obviously many similarities to sailing any dinghy well. In Fireballs and Mirrors there is less to adjust so the emphasis, certainly in the Mirror, is on strategy with very small differences in boat speed and close racing.
  There were many interesting combinations of older and more experienced versus young, light and very fast! The Fireball is more adjustable in terms of the rig and is more comparable to a 470 in terms of performance. In the 1990s it was an extremely competitive UK class and you could regularly expect 50-60 boats at Open Meetings.
  The Fireball fleet in the UK all used very similar hulls, rigs, foils and fit outs all being pretty much identical. There were a number of different sailmakers. As a result it was almost like ‘strict one design’ racing, so important to learn to sail the boat quickly in combination with learning to be a good racer with excellent boat handling all essential in order to do well. All of that is clearly really important with the 505, but there is also more with the 505!

Q: What did you find dramatically different about racing a 505? Did you need to learn or improve anything in particular to be successful?
A: I think the 505 is similar in the fact that all the basics of sailing apply. BUT, it’s more physically demanding, everything happens that bit quicker and, in addition, crucially requires a good ability to optimise the boat (particularly the rig) across the wind range whilst also being able to exercise the race skills. In the 505, with so many options of hull, rig and foils that it can take a while to understand.
  When we started 505 sailing properly in 2010 we seemed to “hit the ground running” – concentrating on sailing like we knew how. But then we started to really think deeply about it in order to try and get better. We probably began to overanalyse which resulted in a drop off for a while.
  At the same time you have to keep everything in context and the fact that there is so much strength in depth in the 505 fleet, particularly below 10 knots I think. That was where we really felt we had to find something. We started to make changes with foils and rig settings and alignment. It started becoming possible to understand more about what worked and what didn’t.
  We also worked hard with our long-standing sailmaker P&B, which has supported me for 20-plus years and this also helped massively. We coupled everything into prioritising what was important and how we could make adjustments with our boat and our rig through the wind range. While doing all this it’s easy to forget how to actually race! Tweaking our approach helped us become more consistent and allowed us to start properly racing again.
  I think it has certainly helped me to learn the building blocks from other classes and then bring
them all together with the 505.

Q: How much would it mean to win the 505 World Championship? What do you feel must happen for your team to accomplish that feat?
A: Winning the 505 Worlds would mean everything. There is so much depth and experience in the fleet, with Olympians and so many World Champions from other classes, that winning the 505 Worlds has to be a big deal for any dinghy sailor. We’ve worked hard at it for many years, assessing many pieces of the jigsaw in order to improve. To make it happen and to have any chance of winning in this fleet it is essential to continue to work very hard in improving our personal preparation and working to eliminate our sailing weaknesses. In addition, making our own share of luck and no mistakes, sailing out of our skins and being fast across whatever conditions we face. Oh, and really enjoying the sailing!

Q: What are your thoughts about coming to Annapolis for Worlds? There has been debate about possible light air days. Are you comfortable sailing in light air?
A: Annapolis sounds like a fantastic place to sail and a great city to enjoy off the water, although I have never been there before! The sailing area seems petty complex, with many opportunities to take advantage of wind and tidal effects.
  I’d agree that the September stats for Annapolis seem to suggest that the breeze is generally lighter rather than windier. However, from what I have seen of East Coast events over the last couple of years there can be a range of wind speeds.
  It will be important to be quick across the wind range, with maybe a bias to lighter air. As I mentioned earlier, light airs was a big problem for us when we started out in 505s but over the last three or four years or so we have worked really hard to address that. It’s still difficult to be as fast as some of the really light teams in sub-10 knots but we have had some good results in lighter events over the last couple of years. Maybe a serious diet is called for! We will see…

Q: What can you tell us about the current state of the British 505 fleet? Is it strong, deep with talent, active? Are there plenty of good events around Great Britain?
A: Our home Worlds last year attracted in some good sailors from other classes and brought some notable ones out of retirement. We have some talented sailors and our results at the Worlds and other events last year reflect that.
  Our open meeting circuit, as with so many other UK classes faces some challenges. There are so many dinghy classes in the UK which dilute numbers down and this can make it difficult for clubs to commit to running events for low turnouts. However, we do run a number of Open Meetings and training weekends each year, mainly focussed around the East and South coast but also spreading up into the North of England and Scotland.
  Our Nationals over recent years have been particularly successful and we appreciate foreign teams from USA, Australia and France coming over to sail with us. We are lucky to be able to quite easily get over to the bigger events in Germany and France. We’re continuing to grow the UK fleet and would like to fit into the Europa Cup in following on from the successful Worlds in Weymouth last year when the calendar will accommodate.

Seldén Mast Inc. (USA) signs on as official spar supplier for SAP 5O5 World Championship

Annapolis, MD – Organizers of the 2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship are pleased to announce Seldén Mast Inc. (USA) as the official spar supplier for event. Seldén Mast Inc. was set up in 1998 in Charleston, South Carolina and produces rig systems for dinghies, keelboats and yachts and distributes the entire product range throughout North and South America. Seldén is a long- time manufacturer of 5O5 spars, having previously manufactured under the Proctor name.

Seldén’s “Alto” aluminum section has become particularly popular among 5O5 sailors for its performance and production quality. Carbon 5O5 booms, spinnaker poles, and a full range of rigging services are also available through Seldén Mast Inc.

“Seldén Mast Inc. has been an incredible partner since the 2015 North American Championship and we are ecstatic that they are with us again for the SAP Worlds”, says regatta chairman Jesse Falsone. “They have provided on-site support during regattas and have delivered numerous fitted spars matching exacting owner requirements. Selden delivers an outstanding product and customer service.”

Tom Sharkey, Managing Director at Seldén Mast Inc., says “We are pleased to partner with the 2017 SAP 5O5 Worlds as official spar supplier. The 5O5 Class embodies the performance and longevity that are also hallmarks of the Seldén brand. We look forward to working with the organizers to run a spectacular event.”

Information on Seldén Mast Inc.: Information about the SAP 5O5 Worlds:

Severn Sailing Association Hosts 505 Training Clinic May 11-13

Severn Sailing Association Hosts 505 Training Clinic May 11-13

    Sailors considering competing in the 2017 SAP 505 World Championship in Annapolis should mark their calenders for the weekend of May 11-13.

    Local organizers of the SAP 505 World Championship will conduct a training clinic that weekend that will help competitors of all levels to prepare for the regatta and venue. 

    Severn Sailing Association will host a two-day training clinic on May 11 and 12 with a day of racing following on May 13. This weekend session, being sponsored by the 5O5 American Section, will feature on-water coaching from veteran 505 sailor Steve Sparkman.

     Sparkman, a former collegiate sailing coach, will lead drills, offer observations on trim and boat-handling, and help sailors of every level to improve their performance. Collaborative off-water debriefings will discuss performance differences between teams and crucial observations will be offered by Coach Sparkman and top sailors.

   Two-time 5O5 world champions Mike Holt and Carl Smit will be in attendance and have graciously agreed to provide attendeeds with expert analysis about rig setup, sail trim and crew responsibilities. Other top teams participating and offering assistance include reigning East Coast champions Chris Behm and Jesse Falsone along with reigning Midwinter champs Mark Zagol and Drew Buttner.

  “It’s often said that ‘You are only as good as the people you train with.’ It is also well known that ‘there are no secrets in the 5O5 class.’ Both statements are true,” said Falsone, chairman of the 2017 SAP 505 World Championship. “Attending clinics makes everyone better because you spend dedicated time in the boat lining up against teams that will push you to improve and those teams share everything they are doing, from technique to boat setup.”

    Falsone pointed out that European teams have been and will continue to hold high-level training sessions in preparation for the upcoming season, with top competitors always looking to improve their sailing.

   “If the American teams want to represent well in home waters, then clinics like these are imperative,” Falsone said.

    Sparkman was a standout member of the co-ed dinghy team at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and got into coaching shortly after graduation. He spent five years coaching at the College of Charleston, which received the prestigious Fowle Trophy while he was on staff. College of Charleston also captured numerous national championships while he was on staff.

    Sparkman mounted several campaigns in the International 505 class, teaming with Henry Amthor for the 2002 World Championship held off Fremantle, Australia then hooking up with Tyler Moore for the 2005 Worlds in Santa Cruz, California.

       Extensive coaching experience combined with in-depth knowledge of the 505 class makes Sparkman the ideal choice to serve as lead instructor for this training session. He intends to put attending teams through boat speed drills, both upwind and downwind, along with small segments of boat-handling exercises.

    “A primary focus will be placed on getting to know the sailing area in terms of local conditions,” Sparkman said. “Hopefully, we’ll have some varying wind velocity and direction so we can help everyone improve their settings in each.”

    Having the likes of Holt-Smith, Behm-Falsone and Zagol-Buttner participating will provide a benchmark for Sparkman to judge other teams.

   “We want to cross-reference rig setups. We can gauge off the top speed boats and help everyone elevate their game,” said Sparkman, who currently coaches Team Racing at Christ Church Academy. “We’ll do rabbit starts as part of training drills. We’ll also run some races with windward and leeward gates as well as a gybe mark for practice.”

     Holt and Smit teamed to capture the 2015 SAP 505 World Championship, held off Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It was a triumphant moment for the pair, which had previously posted runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2012.

    Smit, an Annapolis resident, is ready and willing to offer off-the-water advice about big-picture issues that prospective world championship competitors must consider.

    “I think Mike and I could help some of the other teams with the overall season planning leading up to worlds,” he said. “You can’t just show up in September and expect to be competitive. It’s a building process and you need to devise a constructive plan.”

    Smit, Holt and some of the other accomplished sailors playing a lead role in the clinic will be hands-on with regard to helping other teams with getting the rigging right.

    “We’ll take a close look at everyone’s rig setup and tuning. Sometimes it’s just a matter of clearning up the rigging and making sure all the gear is good enough,” Smit said. “You don’t want to have the boat become the excuse. You can’t feellike the gear is holding you back.”

    Smit points out that a big part of becoming an internationally competitive team involves simply knowing the proper way to sail a 505 and clearly defining how duties will be split between the helmsman and crew.

    “I think it’s crucial to have a discussion about processes and procedures. Who does what, when, where and how?” Smit said. “We’ll talk through how some of the top teams do things. It’s important to break out responsibilities and how to perform maneuvers. Mike and I will do some demonstration in terms of how we do things.”

   Lastly, Smit believes it’s imperative for 505 sailors to keep things simple and be smart about how they devote their time and efforts.

   “A lot of times, teams get focused too much on the little stuff and not the more important factors that really matter,” Smit said. “I think we’ve all chased the Holy Grail of looking for this magic piece of gear that will make us go faster than everyone else. That isn’t really the answer. There are other factors that are more crucial to success.”

   Cost to participate in the three-day training session is $75. Interested sailors should contact Bryan Richardson at To register for the 2017 SAP World Championships, visit the following link:

Sailor Profile: Angela Stenger

Sailor Profile: Angela Stenger

As we approach the start of the Worlds in Annapolis in September, we will be introducing you to some of the sailors planning to compete.  First up is Angela Stenger of Germany.

NAME: Angela Stenger
HOMETOWN: Munich, Germany
OCCUPATION/EMPLOYER: Align Technology, San Jose, California

CURRENT SAILING PARTNER: I have been sailing with Nicola Birkner for the last 10 years. Nici represented Germany at the Sydney Olymics in 470 class in 2000.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ATTENDED: Many!! My first time participating was in 1997 in Gilleleje, Denmark (however only in Pre-Worlds). I guess that was the event where I got kind of addicted to 505 World Championships and since then I have competed in all of them besides San Francisco. In 2000, I helped with the race management and in 2012 I served on the International Jury.

TOP FINISHES AT WORLDS: I guess our best result was in 2008 when we finished 23rd out of 123 teams in Palermo, Italy. Being by far the lightest team in the fleet, the conditions were perfect for us. Actually, we expect Annapolis to be somewhat similar. We are proud to have won the title of Female World Champion for two years in a row.

FAVORITE 505 SAILING MOMENT: There are soooo many of them. Since we are the only female team in the fleet that travels to Worlds in a regular manner, it´s not so much about final results as much as fighting the elements and every once in a while scare the rest of the fleet with top five placements. Last time, we scored a third in one of the races at Weymouth worlds. In Hamilton Island we won a race… however it was Pre-Worlds. We do like heavy conditions as well. I was proud that on the first day in Hyeres last year, lots of competitors decided to stay ashore due to the heavy winds, but we decided to give it a go and managed to get around the racecourse without capsizing, which even the big guys did not manage. And it’s an honor, if even World Champion crews come to us after racing saying: “ Girls, I don’t know how you manged this; I´m really tired and worn out!”

Also one of our favourite moments was coming back from racing in Port Elizabeth in South Africa and we were surrounded by two dozen dolphins, so close that I could almost touch them. Or to see the sea otters in Santa Cruz and the little shark in Hayling Island.

However the real best moments come when you arrive at Worlds and you have a chance to meet all your friends from all over the world. I´m blessed to have so many friends in many countries such as South Africa, United States, United Kingdom, Finland, Australia and so many other countries. It is wonderful to have the chance not only to meet while racing, but also for skiing and hanging out together at other times during the year.
Q: How did you get into 505 sailing and how many years have you been involved now?
A: My parents got me on a sailboat for the first time when I was six weeks old, so I guess there was no other chance than to go sailing. I did Optimist and keelboats to learn racing. After I was sailing 470s for a while, my good friend got me into the class in the late 1980s. I have not stoped sailing the 505 since.

Q: What have you learned about the class/boat over the years?
A: We are constantly evolving our technique, trim and boat-handling. Just in the last week, on our first training at Lake Garda in Italy, we were working to improve these areas.

Q: What do you love about the 505 as a racing dinghy and the class as a whole?
A: It’s challenging in many ways. There is always a good development of new features, we can go around the world to great places to sail, and it’s quite competitive. Just a great boat to sail.  

Q: Is there anything about the Annapolis 505 Worlds that appeals to you?
A: First of all – “Too old now to afford to miss a Worlds.” (That is not my quote, it comes from Pip Pearson!). Honestly, we expect that Annapolis will have very suitable conditions for lighter teams such as we are. Also, I have been fortunate to visit Annapolis a few years back and I really liked the club and the facilities there. I also had a chance to meet our principal race officer (Sandy Grosvenor) last year in Miami when we both were serving on the International Jury for the Sailing World Cup, so I know we can expect high performance race management, which is an important factor.

Q: Any thoughts about what you might do during your down time while in the Annapolis area?
A: We will enjoy Annapolis during the worlds and we plan to do a trip to North Carolina before the Worlds.

Q: In light of the father and daughter team in Australia not being allowed to compete in a 49er event, what are your thoughts about women racing with and against men?
A: The case you mentioned concerns Olympic racing and we are doing 505 racing on an amateur basis so we cannot compare. I can say nothing but the best about our male competitors. Usually they are very helpful and supportive, only sometimes a bit angry when we beat them. We would wish we had a bit more female competition!

Q: What 505 events, other than worlds, do you have on the schedule for this year?
A: We just got back from or first training event in Lake Garda, Italy. The first race will take place on a small lake in Germany which will serve as our last training before German Nationals in Berlin in May. After we will attend EuroCup in Lake Garda, do few smaller local events and finally go to Europeans to Warnemünde right before sending the boat to U.S.

SAP and the International 5O5 Class are proud to announce their partnership for the 2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship

Severn Sailing Association (SSA) and Eastport Yacht Club (EYC) will jointly host the 2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship from September 20-29 in Annapolis, Maryland USA. More than 100 boats representing a dozen nations are expected to compete in the 62nd running of one of sailing’s premier events. SSA and EYC have partnered for the previous two seasons, running major 5O5 events in preparation for 2017.

In a joint statement, Commodore Kim Couranz (SSA) and Commodore Heather Ersts (EYC) said “As with our past partnerships hosting Volvo Ocean Race stopover events, EYC and SSA are excited to team again for SAP 5O5 Worlds in Annapolis. Club members have dedicated significant time and expertise to ensuring that the 2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship will be an outstanding event. We look forward to welcoming all sailors, guests, and our SAP partners to Annapolis this fall.”

The SAP 5O5 World Championships enter its ninth year with a continued commitment to providing the highest level of innovative sailing solutions that enhance the regatta experience for sailors, fans, organizers, and media.

“SAP is delighted to continue our long-standing partnership with the 5O5 class and we are excited to assist the organizers in Annapolis in hosting this prestigious sailing championship. Like the surrounding cities of Baltimore and Washington DC, Annapolis is a town that embraces technologies that make things run better and enhance life experiences. SAP technology will help sailors improve their performance, make it easier for fans to track and understand the race, streamline operations for regatta organizers and deliver real-time insights to broadcasters,” says Dr. Stefan Lacher, Head of Sponsorship Innovations at SAP.

“The 5O5 Class and SAP are a natural fit” says Regatta Chairman Jesse Falsone. “We share a common culture of collaboration and enthusiasm, and like SAP, 5O5 sailors are performance-minded and innovative. We are always looking for ways to make our boats run better. Without question, SAP has elevated our game by providing new insights into sailing strategy through their groundbreaking SAP Sailing Analytics.”

American teams have won the last three consecutive world titles, owing some of this success to the heavy air prowess developed by teams on the West Coast. While the early fall season in Annapolis can provide strong cold fronts that bring high winds, this championship is expected to see a range of conditions that reward versatility and careful risk management. “You cannot be a one trick pony and expect to win in Annapolis”, Falsone comments. “The series will be won by the team that can change gears quickly and adapt to a dynamic environment.”

Off the water, sailors and guests can expect outstanding social events in the best traditions of the 5O5 Class and the SAP World Championships. Additionally, Annapolis is a town steeped in a rich sailing heritage that provides the perfect backdrop to events of this magnitude. From bars, restaurants and museums to chandleries, riggers, and sail lofts, Annapolis has it all within walking distance from the venue. Further entertainment is available through an abundance of local parks, recreational services, and tours. Site seeing day trips to Washington DC and Baltimore, MD are also available.